Christmas 2015

The week leading up to Christmas day was filled with family and friend events.  Sloan was a champ and handled the hustle and bustle of our schedule like it was no thang.  At the beginning of the week we had a get-together with my old roommates from USU.  We haven’t all been together for almost two years, so it was fun to catch up with all of them and their significant others.  roomates
Also, Sloan met Kelli and Luke’s Bennett for the first time.  He’s four months younger than her and almost already her height.  She was swooning over him the whole night.  My only goal was for her NOT to poke his little eyes out [that’s her new thing…touching people’s eyeballs…]


Wednesday I had made a reservation for all three of us to go to the Roof.  But since Saturday was the day after Christmas – we asked the cute girl that watches Sloan on Saturdays to switch for a Wednesday night.  She obliged and Zach and I had a date night instead.  We did a little last minute Christmas shopping, had dinner with a view, and then ran some errands before getting home to a sleeping Sloan. Roof

IMG_1387Christmas Eve was slow and sweet.  We all slept in, I attempted [for my fourth time – I just can’t find the right one] to make an almond pastry for my family, and then we all showered up and made our way up to the Layton AMC to meet Mark and Jeanene for our Christmas Eve tradition – a movie.  IMG_1386

I was so proud of Sloan.  She lasted over an hour into the movie before I had to bail with her.  We decided to drive across the street to the mall instead of roam the halls of the movie theater.  She was in heaven watching the hoards of people and even more thrilled to watch the train that was weaving down the halls.  Afterwards we met up with everyone again + Chad and Racheal’s family at Tepanyaki for dinner.  It was Sloan’s first time and she thought it was the greatest dining experience of her life.  She would NOT stop pointing at our guy on the grill.  We even convinced him to toss her her very own shrimp [which hit her in the head] and she thought it was just the greatest thing ever.  IMG_1509We all left completely stuffed and smelling of fried rice.  My two BFFs weren’t mad about it, though…tepanyaki

Christmas morning was the cherry on top.  Sloan was so excited when Zach walked her down the stairs to see her stocking filled with THE MOST random of gifts.  Zach got a signed football helmet by Kyle himself…and wore it during the duration of gift opening.
zach helmet

Zach surprised me with a freezer to go out in our garage!  We were totally lame this year and just told each other which clothes and coats we wanted, purchased said items, and then wrapped them up.  It wasn’t super sentimental – but we both got exactly what we wanted.  So when that freezer was all set up and cooling down in our garage…I thought my heart might explode.  I guess that’s part of being an adult:  wishing for freezers and other house hold appliances!  We stayed in our PJs all morning – until my parents and brother and sister-in-law came over to join us.  They all gave Sloan her gifts [the adults did not exchange gifts this year – we are saving up for our family vacation instead] and she was on cloud 9 opening gift after gift they got her.  My mom – instead of coal – got Sloan a can of black beans in her stocking.  That, surprisingly, was her favorite item she received.  familyI can’t wait to see her enjoy all of her other gifts – including the cutest piggy bank, books, and a doll house.  Our families spoiled Sloan more than we did!

We made our way to my grandpa’s house in Magna to exchange gifts with my mom’s extended family.  Sadly, I didn’t get any photos.  I wish I had a picture of my grandpa opening his tablet we all got him.

Afterwards we drove up to Ogden to eat dinner at Mark and Jeanene’s house.  As per usual – Mimi and Papa had planned quite the show for their grandkids.  The Gingerbread Man [my nephew Alex] came and visited the grandkids.  But, in a shocking turn of events, the Grinch [Zach] bit both his arms off and one leg…
IMG_1508It all worked out OK, though.  The Grinch apologized for stealing all the grandkid’s gifts and then biting the limbs off of Gingie.  Sloan was dressed as a gingerbread girl…but wasn’t fooled by Alex’s costume.  She knew right away that he was inside.  gingieWhat really tripped her out was that her Dad’s voice was coming out of a green monster.  She kept trying to rip open his mouth and look inside…FullSizeRenderthe grinchThere aren’t grandparents that are more fun than Mark and Jeanene.  Mark is so creative with his ideas and the kids just love every second.  I can’t get over this picture of all of them together with Mimi and Papa [we are missing Clark, who went rogue and Connor, Addie, Cole, and Aiden because they were in Ohio].

We went to bed wayyyy too late that night.  After we made our way home from O-Town, put Sloan to bed, and unloaded our car we were both exhausted.  I don’t think a successful Christmas happens without a little exhaustion.

The Saturday after Christmas I was in overdrive.  I had all our Christmas decor and the majority of our Christmas cleaned up by Sloan’s first nap.  There’s nothing more depressing that having the Christmas hang-over left all over your house.  In the afternoon it was our Fotheringham Christmas party.  My parents dropped by our house on the way down to help set up to bring Sloan a few more gifts they had from their Christmas Eve gift exchange.  My aunt and uncle got her the most hilarious hat [with bangs and braids] that she thought was the greatest thing she had ever worn.  Along with a singing lamp that lights up.  It was like Christmas was on repeat in this house…
Sloan with hairWe spent our evening down in Draper with thousands of Fotheringhams.  We had soup and salad, had a game exchange, and visited with everyone.

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  Sloan made it even more enjoyable and exciting.  She isn’t quite at the age where she can understand the true meaning – but we’re going to work on that next year.  In the meantime, she’s all about her can of black beans and abandoned wrapping paper and boxes.  I’m so grateful for my Savior – who gave me my best friend and my baby girl.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.  

Winter Wonderland

In years past, I used to dread when a big snowstorm would roll in.  But with a one-year-old in my house [and no commute to Salt Lake for work] I couldn’t have been more excited when I saw the forecast for this week.  Sloan has experienced snow before – but not to this extent.  She is actually old enough to play in it now.  Monday, during Zach’s lunch, he came home to build a luge for Sloan to slide down in her snowsuit.

She also discovered she could EAT the snow.  Which was possibly the highlight of her whole week. IMG_1369 She doesn’t look thrilled – but she tripped out when we took her inside. FullSizeRender

Monday evening – for FHE – we went with Mark and Jeanene to Rodizio for Zach’s birthday dinner.  Yes, his actual birthday was in September – but we are a little behind on birthday dinners currently.  Sloan loved watching the snow fall through the giant windows and later would enjoy (even more) the servers bringing skewers of meat to our table every 30 seconds.  IMG_1368

Mid week I dressed Sloan in her gingie jammies and we decorated a gingerbread house.  We had some structural issues – hence the peppermint columns – but everything turned out alright.  Turns out Sloan doesn’t care for frosting – but she sucked on the gingerbread child that was included in the kit for a solid 20 minutes. IMG_1292 We’ve had a lot of mail being delivered.  Family members are sending gifts for others to my house so they can keep them a surprise.  Don’t even ask to see inside my pantry if you come over until AFTER Christmas Eve.  It looks like a FedEx delivery truck inside there.  Sloan loves a good mail day – she loves even more when stuff we can actually open shows up…IMG_1320

This week Sloan got a lot more goodies in her advent calendar.  My favorite was “One reading of Dad’s favorite Christmas book”.  If you haven’t read The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher – YOU MUST.  It is a Hendo Family favorite…as it should be.FullSizeRender-2

Saturday a few of the Hendersons went down to Las Vegas for the BYU vs Utah Football game.  In a strange turn of events – the wives weren’t actually invited to the game.  Instead, we were told we could “go to lunch and go shopping”.  We flew down Saturday morning and I can honestly say it was the best football game I’ve ever been to.  Sorry, Zach…IMG_1322 My parents watched Sloan for the day.  She was in heaven – doing all the last minute Christmas shopping my parents had to do.  She thrives in a public setting…IMG_1323

We weren’t even there for 12 hours [the shortest amount of time I’ve ever been to Vegas] but we managed to have lunch at the Wynn Cafe – please get the Asian Chicken Salad…please, shop at Fashion Show Mall – Zara IS FINALLY OPEN, hit up Caesar’s Forum Shops, and have dinner at Joe’s with the boys once the game was over.  I’m pretty sure after Zach saw the damage that was done at the NIKE store he probably wished I would have just gone to the game, but like I said:  best game I’ve ever been to.

We flew home around 8:00 pm – saying goodbye to Vegas at night is my favorite view of the flight home.
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The next morning was church bright and early.  I had to teach the lesson in Relief Society (just a sub, obviously) and afterwards we made our way to the Henderson extended family Christmas party at the Layton Skating Rink.  Sloan could have watched her cousins all night and played in blow-up land for the rest of her little life.  Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.26.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.26.18 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.25.33 AM She also has fallen hard for Lael’s infamous sugar cookies.  I couldn’t even sneak a bite without her mouth gaping open for a taste.  IMG_1335

This upcoming week is already going to be bananas.  We have a family or friend party every night leading up to Christmas.  Even though the schedule is daunting – I can’t wait to see all my loved ones and count the days down to Christmas.  THREE more sleeps until the big day!

A Merry LITTLE Christmas

Sloan and I have been on a mission to get all of our Christmas to-do’s done.  It seems like everyone else is on that same mission, as well.  Because I’ve had a FLOOD of work coming in.  Everyone needs everything done before the holidays.  So, in an attempt to not get caught up in the holidaze – we’ve been cramming as much in during the day as possible.  We took a trip to TJ’s this week – Sloan was in heaven.  The hoards of people make her the hap-hap-happiest.

We only went for four things on our list, but somehow ended up leaving with BUNDLES.  Literally, bundles of twigs with live berries and bunches of greenery.
Sloan at TJsI decided to keep our planters outside for the remainder of December (only once I was all this goodness at Trader Joe’s).  It was my first time doing live planters.  I literally had no free time to do it – but wharves!  It’s been raining ever since – so I haven’t even had to water them. FullSizeRender-1One of the days on Sloan’s advent calendar this week were these elf pajamas.  I couldn’t resist.  I popped her right up on one of our shelves.  Our real-life Elf on a Shelf.IMG_1176

She also got a “Home Alone” beanie.  Kevin McCallister has nothing on this chick.  If only she’d keep her pants on…Home Alone hat

I still had a bunch of people to cross off my Christmas list – so Sloan and I did a little gift shopping at Station Park later on in the week.  She is the best shopping buddy.  Give her a pile of clothes throw around and she would stay in a dressing room all day…
Shopping Buddy
By far my favorite gift in her advent calendar this week has been her reindeer socks.  Her chubby knees overflow right over the top of them.  Sloan Knees reindeer socks
Friday we went shopping down in South Jordan with Mimi.  Sloan loves Zach’s mom.  She knows just how to tickle, swing, and tease Sloan.  She’s always on cloud 9 with Jeanene.
Sloan and MimiSaturday we had a full day – but in between Sloan’s naps I met my mom do to some MORE Christmas shopping.  We got almost everyone and everything checked off said list.
sloan shopping 1

Later that evening was our Date Night.  We decided to eat at Nordstrom’s restaurant Sixth and Pine.  Braving City Creek wasn’t our most brilliant idea.
Date 2 I got a strawberry salad that was the – and the view of the lights was gorgeous from our table by the window.  Date 1

After dinner we made our way over to Zach’s friend Chet’s place for his annual Waffle Christmas party.  There was pin-making (I made a Ryan Gosling one), prizes, and paper crowns worn by all.  It was the perfect ending to our night.  IMG_1214

Sloan is starting to pick up on all this Christmas cheer.  She can now point and direct you to baby Jesus, our Christmas tree, and every Santa in every festive book we own.  Having a little one in our home for Christmas is going to set the tone for our holiday.  I’m still just counting down the days…

Just Doin’ December

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Let me preface this whole post by explaining something:   Last year I wasn’t much into the Christmas Spirit.  My body was still recovering and I was pleased to have put up my Christmas tree and decorated it – let alone do any other Christmasy activities.  So I decided this year I was going for it – going hard.

To really kick things off – I got Sloan her very own advent calendar.  Growing up – my advent calendar was one of the highlights of December for me.  I wanted Sloan to have one to enjoy, too.  The problem with giving a one-year-old an advent calendar is that you can’t fill each day with a chocolate or candy, you have to get creative.  Thus far, out of all 7 days, her favorite prize has been the mini rubber ducky.  Her least favorite – a tiny pair of mittens that fit her perfect…that she absolutely despises.
IMG_0991This week we stole Zach during his lunch break and drove down to Salt Lake for the Christkindlmarkt – a German Christmas Market.  There were small booths set up (deja vu of Swiss Days, I might add) and tons of delicious food.  Zach got a pizza – because that’s the least authentic German food item he could find – and candied nuts.  I left with a live bay leaf and berry wreath.  I’d call that a win win.

We thought it would be the perfect time to visit Santa and take some photos – turns out Santa takes lunch breaks, too.  And he was on his right when we arrived.  So we snuck into his tent and took a photo on his Santa seat.  Sloan was bummed we missed him, but she enjoyed the animals more, anyway.  IMG_1024This week Zach got all of our Christmas lights put up on our home.  He put in so much work – both he and his brother Chad – spent a few days over at our place on the roof.  All the time and effort was worth it.  He absolutely crushed it.  He even obliged when I asked if we could line the windows…IMG_1075

I got my neighbor gift tags all designed up and printed and spent a few nap times getting everything prepped.  Gift wrapping is one of my favorite things to do this time of year.
IMG_1136Sloan is still under the weather, so we spent a lot of time at home this week.  I am the type of personality [a toxic combination of ADD and OCD] that can’t stay cooped up inside for too long.  Before I knew it, Sloan and I were organizing my entire kitchen, pantry, and basically the whole first floor of my house.  Only taking breaks to introduce her to her soon-to-be favorite Christmas film:  Elf.  IMG_1001

Friday night we stayed in and watched Home Alone as a family.  It was on our December-to-do List.

Saturday morning we woke up and got ready bright and early for breakfast with Santa at the Grand America.  I’ve been trying to get into this secret society for 3 years now, and have never had any luck.  Thursday night I decided to call and see, if it just so happened, if there were any reservations that had canceled.  Turns out a table of FOUR people had canceled just that morning – and I was the only one that had called and asked.  SO after three years, I got my wish.  But this time – I got to take Sloan AND Zach with me.  We were a tad early so we walked around the hotel and peeked in all the windows, the Bakery, and went ga ga over all the holiday decor.

IMG_1088The meal was honestly to die for – I didn’t even get a chance to discuss it with Zach.  He was too busy in line for the omelet bar on his third round.  There were berry waffles, macarons, a cereal buffet, an omelet bar, a crepe bar, cheese stuffed pastries, SO many jams.  All three of us, including Sloan, overindulged and didn’t feel bad about it for one second.  The best part was that we got professional photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Clause.  Sloan didn’t trip out like I was fearful she would.  Instead, she didn’t move a muscle.  Like she was frozen at the sight of magical whimsy.  She was overcome with Christmas spirit, perhaps.  IMG_1145


After we got home that afternoon, Zach let me go on a run outside because the weather was so pleasant.  Afterwards we got ready for our date night.  Dinner at Market Street and a movie down town.  It was incredibly crowded – there was apparently a Jazz game and hordes of people to see the Temple Square lights – but we didn’t mind one bit.  IMG_1130

Sunday I stayed home from church to be with Sloan.  No matter what we did or how hard we hoped for her to get healthy, her cold decided to stick around.  So when Zach got home from his meetings we all got in our jammies and had the laziest Sunday in recent memory.  We ate dinner, watched Christmas Vacation [now that I am typing this I am realizing it wasn’t the most appropriate film for the sabbath] and wrapped presents.  We’re only a week deep into this month and we’re totally crushing our December-to-do List.  Let’s not talk about the fact that I totally spaced the dates of the Festival of Trees this year – but we still have plenty left up our sleeves.


17 sleeps until Christmas!